AN EXTENDED LITERATURE REVIEW WITH RESEARCH PROPOSAL TO EXAMINE THE EFFECTS OF AN INTERMITTENT PNEUMATIC COMPRESSION SYSTEM (FLOWTRON HYDROVEN 12) ON THE HEALING RATE OF DIABETIC FOOT ULCERS
Introduction To date there are very few studies available that examine the effect of pneumatic compression on the healing rate of diabetic foot ulcers. This in part, is due to the reluctance to alter an already volatile vascular status with external devices. The use of compression therapy in this compromised group is a contentious issue given that patients with diabetes have a 2-5 times increase in developing peripheral arterial disease (PAD) than that of the non-diabetic population. One study has shown that patients with diabetic foot ulcers and peripheral oedema had a poorer prognosis and was also more common in patients who required amputation than those with primary healing. Aim The aim of this study is to determine whether the use of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) therapy in patients who present with an active diabetic foot ulcer is beneficial. The hypothesis is that those in the intervention group will show a reduced healing time that those in the control group. Methods This single-blinded randomised controlled trial will collate data from 40 patients who have presented with a diabetic foot ulcer within the prior 4 weeks. The patients in the intervention group will receive IPC therapy in addition to standard diabetic foot ulcer treatment. They will receive weekly 1-hour sessions of IPC for a period of 12 weeks and measurements of wound size recorded at each visit. The study outcome will be wound size measurement. Results All data will be entered into SPSS version II for statistical analysis. The data will then be analysed and if proven to be beneficial, used to propose an alternative treatment plan for patients with diabetic foot ulcers.